ERIC Number: ED255310
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Musical Loudness Discrimination of Three- to Five-Year-Old Children.
Ramsey, Darhyl S.; Ramsey, Jonny H.
An investigation was made of the effects of age and sex on preschool children's discrimination of intensity in musical contexts. Subjects included 92 children ranging in age from 37 to 70 months. A total of 47 females and 45 males participated in the study. To determine preschoolers' loudness discrimination abilities, a new test was designed: The Loudness Discrimination Test (LDT). This instrument utilized a 12-note melody based on a Jamaican folk song rather than pure tones or white noise. The LDT presented the stimulus melody at four intensity levels in discrimination comparisons (50 db, 60 db, 70 db, and 80 db corresponding to the musical dynamics of p, mf, f, and ff). To provide a comparison of the span of the dynamic range, two additional dynamic levels (55 db and 75 db) were included on the test tape. Whereas no significant interactions between age and sex factors were found, significant differences associated with age were found across all age groups, with younger age groups scoring lower than older age groups. Progressive, significant differences across age were noted for both loud-soft and soft-loud stimulus presentation orders. Improvement in scores occurred across all three age groups for the loud-soft presentation order. With regard to type of judgment required of subjects, judgments of "louder" produced higher mean scores within all age groups than did judgments of "softer." Age also was found to be a significant factor in the analysis of data concerning single and varied task types. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Loudness Discrimination; Stimulus Characteristics